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UCLA Bruins vs. Arizona State Sun Devils Predictions, Picks and Betting Preview – September 25, 2014

UCLA Bruins vs. Arizona State Sun Devils Predictions, Picks and Betting Preview – September 25, 2014

Last season, the Arizona State Sun Devils beat the UCLA Bruins 38-33 to win the Pac-12 South. In that game, quarterbacks Taylor Kelly and Brett Hundley engaged in an entertaining battle between two of the best dual-threat signal-callers in the nation. However, both QBs are likely to be out for this game, each nursing injuries.

Nevertheless, this matchup remains an intriguing one. A win for the Bruins could thrust them back up in the rankings . As for the Sun Devils, a win over UCLA would give the team a confidence-booster heading into an arduous stretch on their schedule.

You can also read our preview of Stanford vs. Washington here.

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UCLA Bruins vs. Arizona State Sun Devils Betting Preview and Prediction

Where: Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe

When: Thursday, September 25, 10:00 PM ET

Line: UCLA Bruins at Arizona State Sun Devils –  view all NCAA Football lines

Betting on the UCLA Bruins

[sc:NCAA240banner ]UCLA has won but failed to cover for the third-consecutive game when they escaped with a narrow 20-17 victory against the Texas Longhorns on September 13. UCLA came into the game as an 8.5-point road favorite but no thanks to its sketchy defense and the departure of starting quarterback Brett Hundley (elbow injury) in the opening quarter, Texas was able to stick close to the Bruins throughout the ball game.

Hundley remains questionable to play against Arizona State and if he will indeed miss the Bruins’ first conference game of the season, then coach Jim Mora will have to rely once again on backup QB Jerry Neuheisel to direct the offense this weekend. The Bruins are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games there since 2004.

Neuheisel managed to do well in taking over the playmaking chores, passing 23-for-30 for 178 yards with two touchdowns, but there’s a reason why he’s the backup quarterback. The redshirt freshman has limited athletic abilities, a stark contrast with Hundley, who also gives the Bruins a legitimate rushing threat.

Running back Paul Perkins eased the loss of Hundley against the Longhorns with a massive game, rushing for 126 yards on 24 attempts. He will continue to be a major factor on offense against the Sun Devils, who just gave up 232 rushing yards to the Colorado Buffaloes last September 13th.

Create a betting account now and get into the college football schedule this weekend.

Betting on the Arizona State Sun Devils

D.J. Foster

Like the Bruins, Arizona State is dealing with a hurt starting QB in Taylor Kelly. Kelly suffered a foot injury in the Sun Devils’ 38-24 win over the Colorado Buffaloes on September 13 and is expected to miss significant time, including the upcoming showdown at home against UCLA.

Before he left the game, Kelly had already established scintillating numbers, passing for 195 yards and three touchdowns. In 2013, Kelly totaled 3,635 passing yards and 28 touchdowns while running for 608 yards and nine TDs. Replacing Kelly for the meantime is junior QB Mike Bercovici, who’ll make his first career start on Thursday. So far this season, Bercovici has completed 9-of-17 passes for 79 yards and one touchdown.

Although Kelly’s absence is a big blow to the team, the Sun Devils’ potent offense remains formidable, primarily because their rushing attack is among the best in the nation.

The Sun Devils are ranked 13th in the country in rushing yards with 304.33 per game. They are led by running back D.J. Foster (510 rushing yards with 5 TDs), who is currently the fourth best rusher in the FBS and no. 1 in the Pac-12 with an average of 170.0 yards per game. He’ll have to put in extra work, though, with Kelly gone, as the quarterback also dabbles in the rushing game with 168 yards and two touchdowns in three games thus far this season.

After allowing the Buffaloes to compile 545 yards of offense, there has to be some major adjustments done in Arizona State’s defense. The Sun Devils had a lot of blown coverages and missed tackles against Colorado, and with the toughest stretch of their season ahead – consecutive games against UCLA, USC, and Stanford – the front seven need to communicate better on the field.

The Sun Devils are 8-2 in their last 10 games at home.

Writer’s Prediction

Arizona State deal UCLA its first loss of the season.

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Written by Rex

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